• Attitudes and Behavior towards Interprofessional Collaboration among Healthcare Professionals in a Large Academic Medical Center

      Ansa, Benjamin E.; Zechariah, Sunitha; Gates, Amy M.; Johnson, Stephanie W.; Heboyan, Vahé; De Leo, Gianluca; Institute of Public and Preventive Health (MDPI, 2020-09-06)
      The increasing rates of comorbidities among patients and the complexity of care have warranted interprofessional collaboration (IPC) as an important component of the healthcare structure. An initial step towards assessing the e ectiveness of collaboration requires the exploration of the attitudes and experience of healthcare professionals towards IPC. This online survey aimed to examine the attitudes of healthcare professionals working in a large public academic medical center toward IPC in patient care and the healthcare team, and their behavior and experience regarding IPC. The rankings, according to the perceived importance among the respondents, of the four Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) core competencies (values/ethics, roles/responsibilities, interprofessional communication, teams/teamwork) were assessed. There were strong but varying levels of consensus among healthcare professionals (N = 551) that IPC facilitates ecient patient care, improves patient problem-solving ability, and increases better clinical outcomes for patients. They acknowledged that IPC promotes mutual respect within the healthcare team and providers’ ability to make optimal patient care decisions. However, overall more than 35% of the respondents did not attend multidisciplinary education sessions (grand rounds, seminars, etc.), and about 23% did not participate in bedside patient care rounds. Interprofessional communication was ranked as the most important IPEC core competence. Although the attitude towards IPC among healthcare professionals is strongly positive, many healthcare professionals face challenges in participating in IPC. Institutional policies that facilitate interprofessional learning and interactions for this group of healthcare professionals should be formulated. Online distance learning and interactions, and simulation-enhanced interprofessional education, are options for addressing this barrier. Hospital administrators should facilitate conducive work environments that promote IPC, based on IPEC core competencies, and promote programs that address the challenges of IPC.
    • Interprofessional Education and Collaboration in Healthcare: An Exploratory Study of the Perspectives of Medical Students in the United States

      Zechariah, Sunitha; Ansa, Benjamin E.; Johnson, Stephanie W.; Gates, Amy M.; De Leo, Gianluca; Institute of Public and Preventive Health (MDPI, 2019-10-15)
      Qualified and competent healthcare professionals working in a collaborative team environment is a prerequisite for high quality patient care. In order to be successful in the healthcare working environment, medical students need to be exposed to interprofessional learning early in their education. A single stage online survey was administered to medical students to evaluate their attitudes and perceptions of interprofessional education (IPE) and whether prior exposure to IPE increased their appreciation for interprofessional collaboration. The results suggest that irrespective of prior exposure to IPE, medical students appreciated the importance of interprofessional education and collaboration. Medical students showed a strong interest in attending interprofessional courses in other disciplines. Time constraints, scheduling conflicts, and communication emerged as barriers to IPE. Medical students embraced IPE and welcomed the opportunity to learn with other disciplines. Clinical case studies and simulations were identified as potential methods to integrate with other healthcare disciplines. The positive attitude and perceptions of the medical students toward interprofessional education and collaboration warrants the inclusion of related courses in medical curricula, as this may further increase students’ potentials in becoming effective healthcare providers.